They started the racing season like true champions, eager to deliver in the big classics, which are just around the corner. This is what defines such national champions like Freddy and Jacques Vandenheede. Corona or not, the Vandenheede birds are always at the ready, and they appear to be all set for another very strong year. Although this team too was forced to take on a different approach for the 2020 season. For instance, they decided to darken the old birds for the first time, which was a step into the unknown. They are curious to see the effects, especially on their pigeons' fitness curve. Although it does not chance anything about the inherent qualities of the modern-day Vandenheede racing bird.
We reckon the opening classic from Vierzon was quite reassuring for the team, because the Vandenabeele birds were really going for it. Freddy & Jacques had the only pigeon in this race that exceeded a speed of 1400 m/min (1401 m/min), which led to a provincial victory both with the old birds and the yearlings.
They were simply too strong for their local club in Wortegem-Petegem, and they were outstanding at provincial level as well. Let's have a look:
20/6 Vierzon club 758 olds:
Or no less than 38 pigeons in the top 49 - 49 prizes per 10
Provincial 7,838 olds:
They had 28 pigeons in the provincial top 100, with 83 prizes of 174 pigeons (per 4)
The yearlings' race went even beter, with 25 Vandenheede birds finishing in the top 27.
20/6 Vierzon 235 yearlings:
Provinciaal 4,218 yearlings:
They had 24 pigeons in the provincial top 100 and 48 out of 120 pigeons with a prize per 4
Basketing a lot of pigeons for a race is not that big of a challenge but getting so many early finishes with them is something else entirely!
Spirit of Dance: 2 x 1st Provincial
The provincial victory both in the old birds' and yearlings category was won with a hen called Spirit of Dance. We have no idea how the team from Kruisem celebrated yet another provincial first place but what we do know is that this hen was already remarkably strong as a young bird. And she was quite successful in the first race of 2020 as well, which took off in Sermaises:
-Spirit of Dance BE19-4084123
1. Prov Vierzon 7,838 olds ’20
1. Prov Vierzon 4,218 YLs ’20
4. Sermaises 1,736 p. ’20
81. Chateauroux 5,686 p. ’19
87. Prov Orleans 6,154 p. ‘19
Sire: Brother New Freddy BE08-5027812
He comes from Pierre Matthijs. This pigeon comes from the noble Vandenheede bloodlines, from the same parents as the iconic New Freddy, 1st Nat. Ace Pigeon middle distance KBDB 2010 and a top breeder for the PIPA Elite Center.
Dam: Kyrinia BE15-4130265
A fantastic breeding hen. She is the dam of a 1st Prov. Orleans of 2,731 p., a 4th Argenton of 4,986 p., an 18th Nat. Souillac of 4,056 p., a 35th Chateauroux of 4,035 p., etc. She is a daughter of two very talented racing birds in the Vandenheede lofts: Kyros x Arinia.
The Vandenheede birds are winning races across the globe
Despite having only had two weeks of racing at home due to the corona crisis, Freddy & Jacques Vandenheede could not have hoped for a better start to the season. Besides their provincial victories from Vierzon at home, the team also added some more references to their palmares: the Vandenheede birds were able to win a few races and a number of ace pigeon titles far away from Belgium as well:
To begin with, Mr He Bin (China) won a 1st Ace Pigeon Spring Race in Naxiang Club in Tianjin with yearlings across three races, based on the following results:
-500 Km: 3rd place
-550 Km: 13th place
-600 Km: 2nd place
The sire BE15-4130138 was bred by Freddy & Jacques Vandenheede and was paired to Sister Tarzan BE10-5110378 of the PEC. Coincidence or not, the sire of this ace pigeon is a half brother of Spirit of Dance, from the same sire: Brother New Freddy BE08-5027812, paired to Angelleke BE13-6273371, a 15th Nat. Ace Pigeon longer middle distance KBDB (which the Vandenheede brothers purchased from Team Noël-Willockx). She is the dam of a 6th Nat Limoges 10,783 p., 13th Nat. Vierzon 20,956 p., 15th Nat. Aurillac 3,886 p, 17th Nat. Brive 9,278 p., 31st Nat. Limoges 15,789 p. and 81st Nat. Tulle 4,169 p. in Kruisem.
Mr He Bin also claimed victory in the first 500 km long Naxiang Spring Race (yearlings) in his hometown Tianjin (see picture of race winner CHN2019-02-0100340). The sire of this race winner is also a direct Vandenheelde bird: BE15-4130429, a direct son of Pistische BE08-4095050 (himself a son of Nodeesha, 1st Prov. Ace Pigeon Middle Distance 2003 and winner of a 1st Nat. La Souterraine and grandson of stock breeder Frans, son Dream-pair De Rauw-Sablon) x Juliana BE07-4093401 (from Jules Mannaert, the dam of a 3rd + 8th Nat. Ace Pigeon Extreme Long Dist. KBDB in 2015). The dam of this race winner is a Bart Geerinckx, the BE15-6020353.
In early June we had the final of the Pioneer Club in China for yearlings, where the 2nd Ace Pigeon title was won with another Vandenabeele descendant.The dam of this 2nd Ace Pigeon was bred by A. Drapa, from a Son of Sound of Victory BE13-4050467. This Sound of Victory BE05-4045201 (winner of a 1st Orleans 328 p. and a 21st Nat. La Souterraine 15,406 p.) is also a grandson of Frans, and he was paired to Etna BE12-4186219 (sister of a 1st Nat. Narbonne hens and herself the dam of a 1st Nat. Argenton 13,629 p. in 2016).
We have seen some major successes at home, alongside excellent references from numerous other fanciers that have excelled with the fantastic Vandenabeele bloodlines, winning races and ace pigeon titles. We reckon the team from Kruisem is very pleased about that. Could this be the start of another very successful spell for the fanciers from the Heulestraat in Zingem-Kruisem in 2020? It would not be too much of a surprise, since good blood never lies - the Vandenheede breed is a world class pigeon family!